Better to Die Than Not Live Free

I am the boss!  When the boss isn't around!

I am the boss! When the boss isn’t around!


I have 2 flocks of heritage layers on the farm,

one in the vineyard and one in the main farmyard near the house.  In the farmyard flock I have mostly Australorps, one lovely old Araucana (Evita, who still lays straight through winter), one old light Sussex (Maggie, who spends a lot of time sitting under the lemon tree and it is not clear if she is still laying or not) and a variety of cross breeds.  In this flock, I have had a series of big, strapping Australorp roosters, first Rocky, then Gunther, and now Guntherson.

For the last few years I have gotten fertile eggs from a great breeder in Flaxley, a guy who always gives me super fresh eggs with a great hatch rate and gorgeous birds.  2 years ago, I bought a dozen barnevelder eggs to add something different, and much to my surprise 2 of the chicks hatched with feathered shanks.  Instead of 12 Barnevelders, I got 10 and a bonus 2 Marans.

At hatching, I slipped the babies under a waiting broody hen, who then expertly raised them up until they were fully feathered and integrated into the flock.  But then of course the day arrived when there were too many boys in the house and they needed to be moved out to go to their ultimate fate- into the freezer.

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